I have a thing for hibiscus flowers. It’s not only one of my favorite flowers to look at, hibiscus definitely my favorite flower to drink. Now, I’m on a mission to make it my favorite flower to eat. I spoke in detail about my passion for hibiscus tea in this Jamaica & Lime Margarita post. Passion has a way of turning into downright infatuation if the one you’re in love with is good enough (just ask my husband). So it is with me and hibiscus.
Never wanting to rest on my laurels recipe-wise, I’m always on the lookout for how I can add intrigue to a recipe. I found it in my grocer’s produce section last week. Tis’ the season for blood oranges, y’all! Like hibiscus, blood orange has floral notes in its flavor profile. The notes aren’t too heavy, so this citrus pairs beautifully with the flower used in this recipe.
I’ve also added the surprising element of cardamom. I’ve taken to adding ground cardamom to my jamaica tea ever since I tried it at a local Guyanese restaurant. The earthiness of the cardamom had a way of grounding the perfume-y qualities of the hibiscus. By adding the three of them to a popsicle, the flavors are deepened, which created a home-run recipe.
Té de Jamaica is commonly found online or in the tea section or the Hispanic aisle of major grocery stores. If you can’t find it there, ordering it online is your best bet. Blood oranges are typically in season from December-May depending on the variety. If you can’t find them, use navel oranges instead. Ground cardamom is used in this recipe, however, cardamom pods (green) can be used if they are available.
The pre-frozen mixture is a great margarita or cocktail base. Simply add it, as is, to whatever recipe you wish. It also makes a delicious iced tea when poured over ice.
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Hibiscus, Blood Orange & Cardamom Paletas
Hibiscus pairs with earthy blood orange for a refreshing ice treat.
- 1 lb dried hibiscus leaves
- 4 cups boiling water
- 4 blood oranges halved
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup simple syrup*
- pinch of salt
- * see note
Into a large bowl filled with the hibiscus leaves, pour the boiling water. Allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool completely.
While the tea is steeping, juice the blood oranges. Strain if desired. Set aside.
In a bowl combine the hibiscus tea with the blood orange juice, the ground cardamom, simple syrup and salt. Mix well. Taste and add water if necessary.
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and cover. Allow to freeze for 10 minutes. Insert popsicle sticks into the top of the mold and return to the freezer for an additional 7 1/2 hours, or overnight (recommended).
Unmold* and enjoy!
Simple Syrup Recipe:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
In a small pot, combine the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve slightly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool completely before use.
*Some molds release the paletas easier than others. My foolproof way to get mine out is to running really hot water over the inverted popsicle mold, turn it right side up and unmold quickly. I run hot water over them again if they fail to release easily.
Check out these other paleta recipes: